Toro y Moi | Underneath The Pine

Carpark (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  February 23, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

 toro
Chaz Bundick's previous record, January 2010's Causers of This, pegged him as a seminal chillwave artist alongside other psych-pop bedroom recorders like Neon Indian and Washed Out. But just 13 months later, the 23-year-old South Carolinian a/k/a Toro y Moi is ditching the layers of glo-fi ambiance and going instead for the tighter, retro sounds of funk pop and space disco. Bundick moved in this direction with his pulsing, club-ready side project Les Sins, but Underneath the Pine is more personal and, occasionally, sad. (It was written the day after a friend's funeral, and its title refers to where Bundick will be buried when he dies.) Where Causers of This saw Toro y Moi acting as producer and remixer, the mostly home-recorded Underneath the Pine features all live instruments. Opening track "Intro/Chi Chi" is a middle ground between the textured, elusive qualities of Causers and his slicker new sound. But by track two, "New Beat," the soulful avant-pop is in full force. The new release is most solemn on the lyric-less "Divina" and the minimal, finger-picked guitar riffs of "Before I'm Done," but strongest on "Go with You" and "Got Blinded," where soft, slow-grooving beats, '60s pop vocals, and a gauzy sheen make for a distinctly post-chillwave sound. So what subgenre tag is appropriate now? Is this discogaze? Funkwave? Only time will tell.
  Topics: CD Reviews , retro, Toro Y Moi, chillwave,  More more >
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